SUVA (The Fiji Times/Pacific Media Watch): Families, friends, colleagues and officials from NGOs and private sectors farewelled Fiji journalist and women's rights activist Losana McGowan in a colourful way at her Veisari home, outside Lami Town yesterday.
The funeral service was a sea of colours from decoration to attire as McGowan acquaintances shared a laugh or two over good old memories.
Her mother, Kelera McGowan, said they had asked those who attended the service to come in bright colours because her daughter loved to dress colourfully.
She said the family was still trying to come to terms and accept the fact that Losana was no more.
"Loggy", as she was commonly known by her friends, was someone who cared about other people's wellbeing and was a woman of principle, her mother said.
"The past few days have been really hard for all of us," McGowan said.
"Even though Bubbly Lo is gone, the times we spent together is something I will cherish forever."
Fiji Women's Crisis Centre coordinator Shamima Ali said McGowan was someone who always supported their movement and other NGOs in their fight against gender violence and other issues.
She described her death as a double tragedy, guaranteeing the McGowan family justice.
Notable attendees at McGowan's funeral were lawyers, journalists and communication specialists among others.
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation News reported her partner, Usaia Kilaverata, 28, had appeared in the Suva Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with murder after her death at their flat in Toorak, Suva, on Easter Saturday.
He is due to appear in the High Court on April 17.
A letter in The Fiji Times on Friday apologised to the McGowan family on behalf of all men and challenged the government and non-government organisations for failing to do enough over domestic violence, saying that existing campaign methods were not working.
From the outset, I am a staunch supporter of gender equality and action to stop violence against women.
I follow with much interest the good work women's groups and organisations have done and continue to do so regarding human/women's rights and violence against women and girls.
I am a man, and I too support and stand with women to progressively advocate for their rights and freedoms to correct the imbalance of society.
Sometimes, though, I think how we advocate is not for the best of everyone. The cases of inhumane actions toward women over the Easter weekend is an example.
Yes, gender violence is real. Yes we have strong legislation which are not implemented effectively.
Yes, it is men who are most at fault for violence against women. We also lack resources, and maybe political will too to address this effectively.
But after all the phases of my life — from being a child, a teenage, to adulthood — I still see the same techniques employed in trying to rise above this issue.
If it remains like this then I think we are still far from achieving any major breakthrough to change the mind-sets of young boys and men of this generation. And the future looks bleak.
I can be making no sense at all. I can be wrong. It's just an opinion on a pressing issue of national interest.
Making a loud noise and making an impact are not the same. Some men are discouraged by loud noises. We want to be on a team that makes an impact.
For the life lost, and to the woman who [allegedly] suffered at the hands of her husband — I apologise on behalf of all the good men who respect and value you.
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